Chinese Medicine for Kids

With Acupuncturist Hugh Hayward

You might imagine your kids enjoying an acupuncture treatment about as much as a visit to the dentist. A welcome notion considering we as adults lay on the table for at least 25 minutes looking like an echidna.. and we find it relaxing!

In practice though, children only require a few points at a time and most are not retained for longer than a few seconds, however, we tend to avoid needling and Chinese herbal formulas until they are about 6 or 7. Tuina (Chinese massage, pronounced twee-nah) can be performed from as young as infancy. Kids respond exceptionally well to Chinese remedial massage, which is great because as parents, these techniques can be performed at home with ease.

In practice though, children only require a few points at a time and most are not retained for longer than a few seconds. If needles are not in favour, kids respond exceptionally well to Chinese remedial massage, which is great because as parents, these techniques can be performed at home with ease.

I am constantly in awe of the quick response time that kids have to paediatric acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Chinese massage. They literally bounce right back from ailments that we might whinge about for days. I can remember when I was younger and my mum would have us swallow a cap full of these tiny black balls, and as she pat us on the back to go and play I would feel them rolling around and clinking together in my stomach. I recall the doctors being a rare visit, if not just for a general checkup.

I think if we could adopt something from every-day Chinese mothering, it would be an understanding of preventative medicine in the home.

In Chinese medicine, kids are seen as having a more pure yang energy, free from the pressures and stresses of adult life, but more sensitive to illness as their immune and digestive systems are still developing. This however, reflects the ease and quickness in which they recover.

Illnesses such as asthma, cold and flu, fever, digestive upset, hay fever, allergies and sleeping problems all respond well, while new studies have shown a dramatic increase in the treatment and management of chronic pain, paediatric migraine, enuresis (peeing your pants), nocturnal enuresis (peeing your bed), nausea, behavioural issues, neurologic disorders and epilepsy.

The large scale research also shows that most children tolerate the acupuncture needles quite well, however, we tend to avoid needling and Chinese herbal formulas until they are about 6 or 7. Tuina (Chinese massage, pronounced twee-nah) can be performed from as young as infancy.

How much does a paediatric acupuncture or massage appointment cost?

Initial Appointments are $82 and approx. 30 minutes in length
Follow up Appointments are $64 and approx. 20 minutes in length
Health fund rebates apply if your child is covered for extras.

To make  your child an appointment with Hugh for acupuncture and/or chinese massage, call Brisbane Natural Health on 07 3367 0337.

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